A lively symphonic suite of folk tunes for concert band, comprising eight spirituals, work songs, Scottish reels and Hebrew melodies.

  • 1975/2009
  • 15 minutes

Folk Song Suite has also been transcribed for (1) children’s voices and chamber orchestra, and (2) young voices with piano and percussion.


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See and hear a digitally generated extract of the score


Folk Song Suite is available from UMP.


  1. 3 December 2022: Goring and Streatley Concert Band Christmas Concert at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, Goring-on-Thames.  Conductor: Andrew McBirnie


For those concert bands which have enjoyed playing the folk song arrangements of V.W., Holst, Gordon Jacob and latterly Philip Sparke, Richard Lambert’s Folk Song Suite would be a welcome addition to the repertoire. The suite stands up well alongside those celebrated composers of the genre and is packed full of well-known and not so well-known folk melodies (not all British) which pass smoothly from one to the other and arrive in a breathless helter-skelter at the finale. The orchestration is handled well and is well balanced with all instruments getting equal attention. It is a busy piece with very little let-up in pace in the outer two movements. It is not a particularly easy piece, there are technical demands made on all the instrumental sections and I would say it would suit a county wind orchestra or advanced music service concert band. The suite would provide a fitting end to any concert.

Malcolm Crane

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